Economic expansion paved by the Grameenphone

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Since its inception 25 years ago, Grameenphone has made notable progress in the use of renewable energy, rural development, unique technology solutions and the expansion of the national network. In the final part of this series of five articles on Abu Saeed Khan’s “Partner in Digitization 1997-2002”, we will look at how Grameenphone has helped boost the economic growth of Bangladesh’s telecom sector, empower the workforce local workforce and a historic contribution to Dhaka’s stock market.

Train the workforce of tomorrow

Grameenphone has contributed to youth employment in Bangladesh by training the local workforce and providing young employees with new job opportunities. In 1997, Grameenphone enabled young local recruits to take over important roles previously held by northern employees. Over the next 10 years, Grameenphone spent $4 million to build a workforce ready to meet global challenges.

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Grameephone also broke traditional restrictions by allowing engineers to take on roles regardless of their established discipline. Abu Saeed Khan’s report states that due to the diversity of experiences and qualifications, the first generation of engineers trained by Grameenphone later replaced the best-placed expatriates both at Grameenphone and other international companies. mobile telephony in Asia. Executives who have worked in Grameenphone’s finance, accounting and human resources departments have also excelled both at home and abroad.

Additionally, Grameenphone has been a key proponent of empowering women by ensuring equality and commitment to their female employees. As of December 31, 2021, Grameenphone has achieved a female employee ratio of 15.9% in its local workforce, with plans to increase this number to 20% over the next year. According to the report, Grameenphone has taken several steps to ensure gender diversity in its business, including welcoming 87% female talent hires in 2021, introducing women-centric essential skills training, and providing more job mobility. role and mentorship to women.

Historical IPO placement

Grameenphone has made significant achievements in the economic growth of the country through its Initial Public Offering (IPO). In December 2008, just three months after the historic collapse of Wall Street, Grameenphone was able to close the $60 million (Tk 413 crore) pre-IPO private placement of its shares to local institutional investors. By offering the company’s shares for sale, Grameenphone provided a platform for the local stock market to recover from the global financial crisis.

Each share was sold until Tk. 7.40, to an increased amount due to huge demand. The IPO has also generated interest in the international stock market, with 34,720 shares out of a total of 312,501 being allocated to non-resident Bangladeshis. A Financial Times of London report in 2009 states that due to this unexpectedly successful IPO, Grameenphone caused a record 21% rise in the Dhaka stock market at the time. Thus, the IPO restored confidence in the then struggling local stock market.

Helping Telecommunications Thrive

Grameenphone has helped many local businesses acquire the international knowledge and skills required to manufacture, install and maintain mobile towers in Bangladesh. In 1997, Grameenphone had to spend $50,000 installing each mobile base station tower, due to its reliance on foreign technicians and materials. Now the same job can be done in less than $1,000 with a much more efficient local system.

These advances in the telecommunications sector are leading to improved skills and services in mobile service companies across the country, even helping to develop areas such as fiber optic installation, alternative power solutions and maintenance of microwave radios. The report states that the industries developed by Grameenphone have seen success both locally and internationally, with Grameenphone awarding Tk. 800 million to these companies every year. As a result, Grameenphone’s contributions continue to pave the way for a more efficient and economically resourceful Bangladesh.

[The viewpoints and findings in this article are based on Abu Saeed Khan’s compiled report ‘Partner in Digitalization 1997 – 2022’. You can find the entire report on Grameenphone’s official website, accessible here.]

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